"We are live at the crash site of the Tourist Bus, which took a nose dive into the Hudson earlier today. There is no official statement from the authorities, but it has been confirmed that the head of the crime lab, Detective Mac Taylor, was involved. Taylor was rushed to the hospital not too long ago after being rescued from the downed bus by two of his colleagues, Detectives Flack and Messer. His condition was reported as critical. More news about the hostage situation and an update on Detective Taylor's health to follow. Back to you in the studio, Patrick."

"Thank you, Diane. Looks like a very dramatic day for the unfortunate people on the Tourist Bus. Tom, what do you…?"

"Damn vultures!" Lindsay snapped angrily as she switched off the television set. They all were in the waiting room. Danny and Don were getting checked out and Ellie was settled in a room, Jo was sitting with her. Adam and Sid were sitting on the uncomfortable chairs watching their friend pace up and down. Sheldon had gone with the doctors who were treating Mac- now that was an entire different kettle of fish altogether. Thinking back to the moment when Danny and Don pulled Mac out of the bus sent a shiver down Lindsay's back. The sound of a door opening made her stop pacing. Ellie and Jo came walking in.

"Hey, Sweetie. I thought you were supposed to be resting?" Lindsay said as she moved towards Ellie to give the girl a hug.

"I wanted to hear if there was any news," Ellie said with a fear in her voice, hugging the older woman back.

"We haven't heard anything yet," Lindsay answered.

"Danny and Flack?" Jo asked, not missing the look of worry in Lindsay's eyes, but before she could answer the door opened again, this time admitting a ragged looking Danny and Flack. Lindsay untangled herself from Ellie and ran to Danny while Ellie just waited for a nod from her mother before running to Flack for a hug.

"Shh, it's ok, honey," Danny said as he held onto his wife.

"Oh, Danny; I was so worried," Lindsay said as the tears ran down her cheeks.

Flack held Ellie tightly. She cried, wrapped in the older man's arms.

"Hey, Super girl. How you doing?" Flack asked Ellie once the crying stopped.

"F-f-f-fine," Ellie stammered. "But they hurt Uncle Mac real bad."

"I know, Super Girl. Uncle Mac is strong, ok? He'll be fine," Don said, rubbing his hands soothingly over her back.

"What's the verdict?" Adam asked.

"I've got a couple of scratches from the broken glass of the back window, but nothing serious," Flack said as he sat down on one of the chairs, Ellie settled herself next to him. He flung an arm around her shoulders and she twisted her body to lay across the chairs with her head in his lap. He looked down at the girl and smiled.

"What about you, Danny?" Jo asked while taking her jacket off and gently laying it over Ellie.

"I've got scratches too, but not as much as Evil Knievel over there and a big bruise or two." Danny shrugged. He took Lindsay's hand and also went to sit down.

"Was there any news on Mac?" Flack asked.

"Nope, nothing, nada, zilch, niks," Sid rattled off, causing the others to throw weird looks his way.

After a couple minutes of silence, a whimper startled everyone out of their thoughts. Don, who had been dozing, was jerked awake and looked down to see Ellie in the middle of a nightmare. Jo was on her feet in seconds, rushing over to her daughter. She kneeled in front of the whimpering girl and tried to talk to her. After a minute or two, Ellie settled down and the adults breathed a sigh of relief.

"I was waiting for that to happen," Jo said as she stood back up. She left the child sleeping - still with her head on Flack's lap. After Mac, Don was her favourite.

"You can't really blame the kid," Danny said. "I might get nightmares too and I wasn't even there for the worst of the torture."

"I hear ya," Don said, shivering. "I will never watch 'Speed' again. That movie just became a little too realistic to me."

"I still can't get the picture out of my head," Danny said, pulling Lindsay closer.

"Yeah, it's like a weird sci-fi movie stuck in my head and it replays the entire thing in slow-mo and Technicolor," Don said.

"Oh, like the Tok'ra memory device?" Adam piped up.

"The what?"


"Oh…uhm... the Tok'ra...you know from Stargate…ok, shutting up now," Adam said, sinking lower in his chair.

Just then, Sinclair came in and Adam could be heard mumbling 'saved by the chief'.

"Danville? How's your daughter?" he asked.

"She's a bit bruised, a lot shaken up and worried, but I think she will be fine, sir," Jo answered, keeping an eye on her daughter, who was now sleeping peacefully again.

"At least some good news. What about the two heroes of the day?" the chief asked, looking at Don and Danny.

"Fine, sir."

"I'm good."

Sinclair nodded. He took a deep breath and then said,

"I want to inform you that I am going to let it slip that Taylor is dead."

A shocked silence followed and he hurried on, "I am doing this to try and lure the people responsible out and for Taylor's safety. No one, but the people in this room, will know that he is alive." He didn't wait for an answer, just turned around and left.

Silence fell once again. The team just waited, waited and prayed for good news on the key piece of their little jigsaw puzzle.


"This is Diane Westcott for the Channel 5 evening news. We have had confirmed reports that the information given by Chief Sinclair earlier today was false. Detective Taylor is still in a critical condition, but is believed to be stable. According to a reliable source the Hero Cop was beaten horribly, suffered from several broken fingers, as well as a broken knee cap; he has internal injuries, but the most worrying is the severe head injury. Doctors are still running tests to confirm the possibility that he might have suffered brain damage, but it is believed to be too early to tell. Stay tuned for more information."

The team watched the news report with their hearts sinking in horror. If the public knew that Mac was still alive then it meant that Anthony Collins also knew it. Jo was the first to break the tense silence that hung over the group in the waiting room.

"I think we need to get a couple of guards for the survivors."

"Why for all of them? Why not just for Mac?" Adam looked as if he missed a whole conversation.

"Because all of them heard about the gang's plan. That means that they all might be a target," Jo answered patiently. Her eyes wandered over to her sleeping daughter. Ellie had refused to go home until they heard about Mac. She didn't talk about what happened and Jo wasn't going to push her, at least not yet.

Just then, Sinclair came running into the waiting room, his face displaying the kind of anger only reserved for someone who dared go against him.

"I want to know who the hell leaked the news. I want to find that bastard and I want them yesterday!" he shouted, causing a couple of nurses to throw nervous glances in the waiting room's direction.

"How do you want us to do that, sir?" Flack asked.

"Subtly, Detective. You asked around here at hospital. It had to be someone with inside information. While Taylor's here, I know you won't go far, so I suggest you start here." He stormed out again.

"Am I the only person that thinks that guy has ants in his pants?" a soft voice asked. Everyone turned to stare at Ellie, but before Jo could scold her, the whole group burst out in laughter.

Sheldon walked in a little later after the laughter had died down and took the team one by one to see Mac. The women came out crying, the men pale and all of them had the same question on their minds: Will Mac Taylor ever be the same?


In an apartment in another part of New York, a man shut his television off and, in a fit of anger, he threw the remote against the wall, where it splintered into a thousand pieces.

"That man will pay! Not only did he destroy my plans, but he survived," Anthony Collins roared. A group of his men stood before him. It was only a handful. They had tried to raid the Reagan that morning, but was unsuccessful because the people on board were prepared for them and a lot of his men got caught.

"I want him dead! I don't care how you do it and I don't care when you do it, just get it done. The person who kills the damn rat will get a handsome reward." With those words he left the room, leaving the group of men to start making their own plans.

OK, I know I am a horrible person for making you wait this long, but I had to send out a search party for my muse who decided to go on strike. I eventually found her on another planet, conversing with an alien of sorts. I have heard this planet is called Fleasia and apparently it is the source of some evil and really scary plot bunnies…..you don't believe me? Okay, fine, real life kind of killed me lately and i….hey! No need to throw rocks at me and shoot and evil stares….fine! I will stop talking (uhm writing) nonsense. I hope you enjoyed the chapter and it was worth the wait. Thanks to all the kind reviews, but I would like some more please. Even if it is just a word….or smiley. Or something.

Thanks to C. Nicole who once again, made my work readable. Oh and I don't own them, I just play around with them…well some of them.

Special thanks to melraemorgan for letting me know that the Reagan is actually a carrier not a destroyer. I'm from Sunny South Africa, so I did not know that; let's just pretend that in my world it's a destroyer.

Till next time,